Oregon sees record spike in COVID-19 cases
UPDATED: 3:50 p.m. Oregon reported its highest number of daily COVID-19 cases Thursday, July 2.
That beats the old one-day record, set just one day earlier. Oregon set the then-single-day record of 281 new cases Wednesday, July 1.
The Oregon Health Authority reported 375 new and presumptive cases, and one new death. A 73-year-old woman in Klamath County died of the virus on June 30.
Three counties — Umatilla, Washington and Multnomah — are responsible for the highest numbers of new cases.
According to Health Authority data, 88 people in Umatilla County tested positive for COVID-19, accounting for the largest number of new cases Thursday. In Washington County, 67 people tested positive, while 64 cases were reported in Multnomah County.
Most of the new cases are being traced to family gatherings like birthday parties, graduation parties, extended family gatherings and other social events with people from different households, Dr. Paul Cieslak with OHA said Thursday afternoon.
"These are the sort of family activities where you're clustered together with a large number of people not in your household," Cieslak said during a media briefing. "It's one thing to have a group of people standing around outside where they're not intentionally socializing, but it's another thing when you're sitting in a house and holding a drink and going from one person to another … These are the things that are going to drive our case counts up and make us question whether it's safe to [reopen.]"
Answering questions about whether some counties could see businesses close back down due to increasing outbreaks, Cieslak noted the state's hospital capacity remains stable, and the overall number of fatalities from the virus has remained relatively low, "but many of the other metrics, it's clear we're not meeting them."
The record jump in cases came after Oregon Gov. Kate Brown ordered face coverings to be worn in all indoor spaces, across the state.
It's unclear how many of those who contracted the virus recently were wearing masks, health officials noted.
"Oregon has experienced five weeks of case growth and cases are rising faster in our rural communities and in central and eastern Oregon," the Health Authority noted in a daily media release. "The largest county case count today was in Umatilla County with 88 new cases attributed to outbreaks and community spread."
The rest of the cases came from the following counties:
Clackamas (22), Columbia (1), Crook (1), Deschutes (9), Douglas (2), Jackson (15), Jefferson (8), Josephine (8), Lane (15), Lincoln (3), Linn (3), Malheur (16), Marion (32), Morrow (8), Multnomah (64), Tillamook (1), Umatilla (88), Union (5), Wasco (2), Washington (67), and Yamhill (5).
To date, 209 people have died of the respiratory virus in Oregon and 9,294 have been infected.
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